U.S. District Judge Ann Montgomery appointed a receiver Thursday to take control of the remaining assets of the Parish Marketing & Development Corp. of Eagan, which pleaded guilty in a giant mortgage-fraud conspiracy that roiled several southern Twin Cities suburbs.
Gary Hansen, an attorney with the Minneapolis law firm Oppenheimer, Wolff and Donnelly, will assume control of the home builder's business operations, preserve and manage its assets, and oversee their sale for the benefit of victims and creditors.
Hansen, who once headed the criminal division of the Minnesota attorney general's office, chairs Oppenheimer's business litigation practice, according to the firm's website. He focuses on complex lawsuits, often involving large claims among multiple parties.
The Parish Marketing case certainly fills that bill.
The company and its founders, Michael and Ardith Parish, pleaded guilty earlier this month in a conspiracy that relied on straw buyers to purchase about 200 homes the company had built in New Prague, New Market and Lonsdale over the past few years.
The company earned at least $25 million on $100 million in loans and admitted using the proceeds to build more homes, to make payments on some of the mortgages, and to keep the scheme running.
The government has said that as much as $50 million may have been lost; the defendants dispute that amount.
Montgomery wrote in an eight-page order that a receiver was warranted to prevent immediate and irreparable harm and to minimize the losses and the impact on the community. She gave Hansen control over the Parish company's assets, though he must get approval before making any expenditure in excess of $5,000 and must make quarterly reports of all payments and disbursements.
Hansen also must ensure that a reputable property manager is hired and oversee the marketing of any properties owned or controlled by Parish Marketing.
Montgomery also ordered the company and its officers, employees, contractors, attorneys and other associates to cooperate with Hansen by providing him with a list of assets and financial accounts and access to company records.
Hansen will be paid $225 an hour for his work and cannot increase the rate without court approval.
Dan Browning 612-673-4493